Pubdate: Mon, 17 Mar 2014
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2014 The Register-Guard
Author: Allan Erickson
Note: Allan Erickson, a former employee of hemp activist and lumber business
owner Bill Conde, is a volunteer for the Media Awareness Project and
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.


"One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of 
public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other 
forms of propaganda" - Douglas MacArthur

The casual reader may find some sense in The Register-Guard's March 3 
editorial, "Allow local pot sales bans." But I didn't, because the 
editors continue to rely on information generated from the firmly 
entrenched, propagandistic cartel for a federal drugs prohibition.

There are some basics that need to be understood about cannabis, its 
history and its prohibition by the federal government:

At one time, cannabis medicines were sold over the counter and were 
among the most widely sold medical preparations available.

The federal prohibition of cannabis is founded on zero facts, and 
instead is based solely on hysterical, racist propaganda.

The whole of the drug war, not just the banning of pot, is an 
internal threat that makes the harm to our nation by the Sept. 11, 
2001, attacks pale by comparison.

As far as I know, there isn't a county in Oregon that bans tobacco or 
alcohol outlets outright. Yet it would seem to me that if everyone 
were working from facts and reality and not reacting to or with 
scare-mongering, counties would be encouraging medical cannabis dispensaries.

Alcohol abuse alone costs Oregon's economy well in excess of $3 
billion annually. Tobacco use costs Oregon (and thus Oregonians) more 
than $2 billion in health care costs and lost productivity annually. 
Tobacco deaths cost us almost 7,000 lives per year. Alcohol takes the 
lives of another 1,000 of us annually.

When was the last time The Register--Guard covered a story about a 
fatal cannabis overdose victim? How many pothead parties have broken 
out into violence around the University of Oregon?

Cannabis is, factually, the safer alternative. The war against pot 
has taken more lives than the demonized weed ever will - or can.

There are now more than 200 medical cannabis dispensaries operating 
at will in Oregon. In all, 289 applications for dispensaries were 
received by state officials last week under the 2013 Oregon dispensary bill.

These are businesses that will employ Oregonians. Employed Oregonians 
spend their money in their communities and pay their taxes. Legal 
marijuana farms will not decimate Oregon's beautiful and isolated 
creeks and wildlands, as the real criminal syndicates have been doing 
for years.

Colorado collected $2 million in its first month of legal cannabis 
sales. Are people just smarter on that side of the Rockies than we 
are on this side of the Cascades?

Were there really any real crime - assault, etc. - in the cultivation 
and consumption of cannabis, community reluctance might be more 
understandable. However, no one arguing against cannabis dispensaries 
does so from a factual position. There is less legitimacy to 
Prohibition II (drugs) than the original - alcohol prohibition was at 
least constitutional.

George Washington, the father of our nation, famously said, "Make the 
most you can of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere." Thomas 
Jefferson went to great and dangerous lengths to smuggle hemp seeds 
out of China, so important was the plant to our young nation.

I get that there are still pot haters out there. Just like some 
people still can't cross their self-imposed barriers of race or 
sexual preference, some folks won't accept the normalcy of cannabis. 
That's an opinion they have every right to hold - until they start 
trying to make laws based on their bigotry.

To allow counties to ban a product based on a century of fraud, 
deception and racism just seems - I don't know - unAmerican. Isn't it 
a bit hypocritical in this state - where folks love to complain about 
federal control of water, timber or public lands - to embrace the 
feds when it suits their own bigoted agendas? ---
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom